What's a piece of gear that is generally considered goofy or nerdy (looks, function) that you have used and think is amazing? Zip off pants spring to mind. Look lame but function very well. A few of my favorites are hats with the Laurence of Arabia flaps in the back and using Buffs as face protection from the sun and bugs on bike rides. What gear is worth the ridicule?


paul trusty
Labels (4)

I love Dr Bronners peppermint soap. Peppermint is a natural anti microbial so I clean my sandals with it and you can pretty much wash anything with it. It also has an amusing bottle to read when camping. 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Dr Bronners is the business! I also really like the almond scent and it is less exciting to get near your eyes than peppermint (which is great too). Add a little baking soda and you have an amazing cleaning agent for your bathroom. Also safe to use in outdoor water sources.

paul trusty

REI Sahara pants (nerdy zip off). Great lightwieght pants that protect from sun, quick dry, and shamelessly doofy. 

The first time my fellow campers see me pull this piece of gear out of my pocket, they look at me either puzzled or amused.

A couple of years ago I came across this gadget, which has revolutionized my campfire making game. My face and lungs wish I had known about this my entire life.

It is a collapsable, stainless steel straw-like bellows that you can use to blow air on a fire.


Very cool!


It is the best. Well designed as well as adaptable.  Too bad that the item is no longer sold by REI. The new model is not as good. Sometimes new and improved just isn’t. 


Hi @Rabu, I suggest you provide feedback on why the newer one isn't as good with a low star review.  I gave a poor review and explained what was missing and things that would make the new product as good as the old one.  A few seasons later, the pants were improved.  You never know, they may just listen and make future versions better.  



I wear long sleeve shirts and long pants even when it's hot and sunny outside. It may look dorky but it provides better protection than any sunscreen lotion.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.